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Lifestyle Block Continues To Be A Star Performer

Lifestyle Block Continues To Be A Star Performer

The lifestyle block market continues to be a star performer in the rural property market, with both values and sales volumes maintaining their strong, consistent growth, according to the latest rural property statistics released today by the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand.

The national sales volume for lifestyle blocks during March firmed on both month-to-month and year-to-year comparison, while the national median lifestyle block price firmed from March 2002 but eased from last month, with 716 transactions at a median sales price of $248,000, compared to 594 sales in February at $265,000 and 711 in March 2002 at $227,500.

Rural spokesperson for the Institute, Mr. Murray Cleland said today that values and demand in the lifestyle block market is largely driven by the urban areas, so the health of this sector is a very accurate indication of urban confidence and economic health.

He said, “The residential property market is currently very strong, and the same month-on-month improvement you see in urban property is mirrored in the lifestyle block market.

“The increasing popularity of lifestyle blocks has been very positive for the rural economy, as it has contributed an influx of people and capital into local businesses, both service and retail, and adds a lot of colour to the New Zealand rural experience.”

The national sales volume for farms in March was 290, compared to the February sales volume of 197 and the March 2002 volume of 355.

The national median farm sale price for March was $695,000 compared to February at $735,000, and the March 2002 median of $815,000.

According to Mr. Cleland, the rural property market remains strong and stable, despite some market commentators prediction of a downturn in values.

He said, “There has been an expectation in some quarters that rural confidence would be dampened by such issues as the forecast downturn in the dairy payout for 2003, the potential of a drop in export earnings in the face of an appreciating New Zealand dollar and the situation in the Middle East, but there is no evidence that either has happened, or will happen.

“Instead, despite a potentially challenging economic environment over the next twelve months for the rural sector, farm values are still holding up and our members report that the level of sales is currently limited only by a distinct shortage of listings.”

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